Raffles Boston (40 Trinity Place) | 426 Stuart Street | Back Bay

jpdivola

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I have mixed feeling about losing the prewar structure. In a odd way, I would rather see the city lose A FEW brownstones than a pre-war midrise. Buildings like this are in shorter supply and they help ease the transitions between 3-story 19th century brownstones and 21st century glass and steel high rises.

But, what's done is done. My main hope now is the new building gets out of ground before the next recession hits.
 

itchy

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Agree with those lamenting the loss of another pre-war structure.

It's great (well ... kinda ... I guess?) that Boston will have a new ultra-expensive glassy hotel. It's very unfortunate we have to lose a history-laden masonry mid-rise for it.

I'd be in favor of a blanket protection for pre-war buildings. Continued development and innovation in our build environment is important, but there are enough parking lots, unused air rights and post-war dreck whose replacement can keep the high-end hoteliers' and future pied-a-terre condo owners' demand met for some time.

For this particular one, I just wish the developers had worked with Simon (the mall owners) to build the Raffles over the Copley Mall...
 

HarvardP

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What is Raffles and is it really such a big deal?
Raffles is a high-end hotel chain with a large presence in Asia. It would presumably matter to those who think $400+/night is a reasonable price for temp lodging.
 

Czervik.Construction

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What is Raffles and is it really such a big deal?
Raffles is a Singapore-based luxury hotel brand that is part of the Accor Hotel group. If you look at their locations on their website, they are all over Asia, parts of Europe and exotic places like the Maldives and Seychelles. They have no other locations in North America. By planting their N. America flag in Boston, that says a lot about the vibrancy of the Boston hotel market, especially on the high end and the city in general.

https://www.raffles.com/
 

BeeLine

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tobyjug

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Sad for me. I remember going in there for the first time in 1960? when it was the main part of the University Club. It was the most “big city” club of Boston clubland. UC kept the low rise, sold the main building to Hancock because the club was broke.
But everything changes I guess. There was good sneaky parking in the back if you wanted to swim a few laps or playing squash. Gone!
 

George_Apley

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Mixed-feelings for sure. Definitely better buildings to be replaced than this, but also we can't control what properties go up for sale when.
 

KriterionBOS

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Raffles is a Singapore-based luxury hotel brand that is part of the Accor Hotel group. If you look at their locations on their website, they are all over Asia, parts of Europe and exotic places like the Maldives and Seychelles. They have no other locations in North America. By planting their N. America flag in Boston, that says a lot about the vibrancy of the Boston hotel market, especially on the high end and the city in general.

https://www.raffles.com/
Thanks for the info. No wonder I hadn't heard of them. Surprised they haven't gone to NYC, LA, DC, Miami before Boston.
 

whighlander

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Agree with those lamenting the loss of another pre-war structure.

It's great (well ... kinda ... I guess?) that Boston will have a new ultra-expensive glassy hotel. It's very unfortunate we have to lose a history-laden masonry mid-rise for it.

I'd be in favor of a blanket protection for pre-war buildings. Continued development and innovation in our build environment is important, but there are enough parking lots, unused air rights and post-war dreck whose replacement can keep the high-end hoteliers' and future pied-a-terre condo owners' demand met for some time.

For this particular one, I just wish the developers had worked with Simon (the mall owners) to build the Raffles over the Copley Mall...
Itchy -- Blanket Protection is always a mistake

Protection is important -- we can't afford to lose another John Hancock House or a Province House -- so we really need to hang onto anything from before 1800 which is still around as there really is not all that much
But from 1830 or so on -- it should be case by case with a hierarchical scale of how high the bar is based on youth:
  1. Stuff from the mid to late 19th C is some of the best in Boston -- so preservation of that is important
  2. Early 20th C stuff with good character and importance in the context of the street, etc.
  3. Mid 20th C especially post WWII -- not so much
  4. Anything that was built after 1960 is very much fair game for the wrecking ball
    1. e.g. things like the O'Neil, the West End Towers, Hurley, City Hall
    2. any shopping plaza
    3. any public housing project not already rebuilt
    4. gasoline stations
    5. one story DD's and such

If you protect everything from before WWII --- you will have protected many 1 story warehouses and equipment garages constructed for a wide variety of easily relocatable uses. For example much of the stretch along Dorchester Ave from Broadway to near Andrew meets that definition
 

elemenoh

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I've stayed at the Raffles properties in Cambodia and other Asian countries and those tend to be high-end renovations of British Colonial hotels. It will be interesting to see how they style a new-build hotel like this. Raffles is now owned by the Accel Group of France, which also owns the Fairmont Copley Plaza.
 

HenryAlan

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Thanks for the info. No wonder I hadn't heard of them. Surprised they haven't gone to NYC, LA, DC, Miami before Boston.
I was, too, but we really shouldn't be. Boston is hot right now, maybe hotter than it has ever been. It is a good place for a international brand without a US presence to announce itself. And Raffles will hardly be the first. We've seen this on multiple different business levels, whether an international brand like Primark, or a regional brand trying to make a bigger US footprint like Arclight. Boston is seen as a desirable location, even though many of us who live here suffer a bit of an inferiority complex. Just as an example, my parents just visited from L.A., and I took them on a walking tour of some parts of downtown. At one point, my mom remarked that Boston seemed bigger than Los Angeles. Boston gives off that vibe, whether we realize it or not.
 

KriterionBOS

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At one point, my mom remarked that Boston seemed bigger than Los Angeles. Boston gives off that vibe, whether we realize it or not.
It really does and I would say its because of the high density of the Boston core. I had mentioned once that Boston "seems bigger" than Philadelphia and that is plausible because the Boston core is much denser than Philly and Greater Philly is only 20% bigger than Greater Boston (6 million vs 5, which is not really a huge difference at all ).
 

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